As of 7 pm tonight I am on vacation. For the next 6 days I have no work, no plans and absolutely nothing to do.
Okay, I do have one plan. I am going to clean my kitchen from top to bottom, sort through all my cooking and baking equipment and get rid of everything I don’t need and organize the rest. I have wanted to do this for a long time but have been procrastinating it for just as long. I have a small kitchen but I have a lot of stuff packed in it.
I want to get my kitchen cleaned and organized so I can start a Whole 30 on July 6th. I have wanted to do one for the last couple of months but it just seemed overwhelming to add to everything that’s going on in the world. I also wasn’t sure I would be able to get the basic staples I would need to do a Whole 30 because the pandemic shut down some of places I normally shop at for my Whole 30.
However, the world doesn’t look like it’s going to calm down anytime soon and I found almost everything I like to have on hand so I thought why not.
Garlic and Herb Vinaigrette
This recipe has been in my big white binder for so long I don’t remember where I got it from
1 medium garlic clove, minced
5 TBS olive oil
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
Combine everything in a jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake it like crazy before serving.
After 6 months at my new job I am still finding new reasons to love my job. Early last week, I was told I have 56 hours of vacation to use before the end of the year. First of all, how did that happen? I have only been there since april. How did I get all that vacation time? Every other job I have had I had to be there a year before I got any vacation time. I was really excited because I need a vacation.
Second of all, they expect me to take every minute of it. All I had to do was enter it in the system and, two seconds later it was all approved.
At my old job, they automatically refused all requests for vacation or time off. You had to get with your manager and beg for they time off which you earned and would still frequently turn you down. It was frustrating and not right. I am so glad that place isn’t my problem any more.
So what is confit (pronounced kon fee)? Confit is, basically, anything cooked at a low temperature while covered in some kind of fat. This style of cooking renders the food so soft and succulent and, in the case of garlic confit, leaves you with a lovely garlic infused olive oil. So what do I use garlc confit for? Well, just about any form of savory cooking I do in a day. I use both the oil and garlic when I fry eggs, saute vegetables, make salad dressings. I smear a couple cloves on my toast, add cloves to soup and sauces. The possibilities are pretty near limitless.
I am going to be honest with you. This not a cheap recipe to make with all that olive oil but it keeps up to two months in the fridge so you have plenty of time to is every drop of oil and every clove of garlic.
From The No Crumbs Left Cookbook
4 cups peeled garlic cloves
3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium baking pan with sides, spread the garlic out evenly. Cover the garlic with olive oil, making sure every clove is covered with oil. Tuck the basil leaves, rosemary sprigs and bay leaves among the garlic cloves.
Bake tbe garlic for 35 minutes or until soft and light brown. Turn off the oven and open the oven door, let the garlic and oil cool to room temperature. The original instructions said to remove the pan from the oven but I really don’t want 350 degree oil pouring over my hands. Once the garlic is completely cool, store it in a glass jar, making sure the cloves are completely covered in oil. Store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
I am slowly getting back into the kitchen and cooking. Training for my new job has been easier than I expected in someways and a whole hell of a lot harder than I expected in other ways, especially this week
So I have been giving myself grace and keeping it simple by eating a lot of salads and using things like boxed broth and jarred pasta sauce to make quick and easy meals.
The only thing I have made from completely scratch lately is salad dressing. I can hardly wait until training is over and I can get my scedule on a somewhat even keel again.
Garlic Tahini Dressing
From Well Fed Fresh And Hearty Salads
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup water
3 TBS tahini
2 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS coconut aminos
1 TBS minced chives
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Peel and mince the garlic, place it in a pint size mason jar. Add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Whirl with a stick blender until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the oil until blended.
Have you ever tried a recipe that everyone is raving about and when you try it you think, nope, not going to try that one again? That has been almost every recipe I have tried the last couple of days. It is frustrating. The worst was some chicken burgers I tried. The picture was so pretty and I wanted like them so much. The burgers were quick and easy but they were sooooooo bland. I had to save them because I made them for lunch at work and I didn’t have time to make anything else.
Since there was pineapple in the chicken, I decided to make a pineapple salsa. I know it sounds strange but the sweet of the pineapple and mint goes really well with the savory flavor of garlic and cumin. This recipes makes a lot but it really goes with everything. It’s good on chicken, fish, mixed with rice, not whole30 but I have done it before and I am sure it would be good on things I haven’t even thought of yet. The salsa lasts a long time so you can experiment.
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
2 cloves garlic — minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint — minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper — to taste
Mix all ingredients together and keep in covered bowl in the fridge. Keeps for several weeks.
I have always believe that things, good or bad, happen for a reason, that in our darkest times there are some good things to be found, no matter how small, if we look for them. Some people think this stance on life makes me foolish and naive. If that is true, I am okay with it. I would rather be foolish and naive then cold and bitter about life. I can’t think of anything worst then that.
I am not going to tell you that being scammed was a good thing. It wasn’t. I’ll be living with the repercussions of that for a long time. A friendship was severely damaged, maybe even lost, over this. I was in a dark place over this for a very long time. Being scammed has made me question the honesty and integrity of everyone , including my best friends, everything they said or did because I won’t be fooled again. It took me a long time to remember that just because I let one bad person into my life doesn’t mean all the people I have let into my life are bad.
So today’s post is a gratitude post
I am very thankful I didn’t loose my job. I left work to take care of this scam knowing my attendance was at the point if I missed one more day they could fire me. I am eternally grateful that they didn’t. I have a second chance.
I am very thankful two of my supervisors went to management and spoke to them about why I should keep my job. I really believe if they hadn’t I would be unemployed
I am very thankful that I like to cook. Because I like to cook I had enough food in my home that I had food to eat between loosing one paycheck and getting another one.
I am thankful for my online friends who sent me a Drs Foster and Smith’s gift certificate so my animals had food too. They know me so well. They know I will be fine if my animals are fed and cared for.
Morgan and Harper
I am thankful to my co worker Dianne, who brought me a bunch of vegetables she canned so I wouldn’t go hungry.
I am very thankful for the people who have heard my story and not judged me.
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Copycat
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp savory, optional
1 tsp mace
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
Combine everything together in a small bowl; stir well. Keep in an air tight container. Use it anywhere Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning blend is called for.